Beginners Guide to Stamping & Ink Pads

Beginners Stamping Info Sheet prepared by Stamposaurus


Dye Based Ink Pads

Waterbased ink

Come in a wide range of colours

Suitable for paper and card (will take some time to dry on glossy card - unless heat gun is used)

Dry very quickly

Not suitable for embossing

Usually acid free and non-toxic

Fade resistant

Great for Alcohol Ink Pens (Pro-Markers, Copic ..)

Suitable to brayer with.

(eg Ranger Adirondack Dye, Ranger Distress, Tsukineko Memento, Tsukineko Kaleidacolor Rainbow, Impress.)


Pigment Based Pads

Glycerine based ink

Come in a huge range of colours including metallic, fluorescent, multicoloured and clear.

Pigment ink dries slowly - speed up with a heat gun

Suitable for paper and card – but not shiny surfaces unless embossed

Suitable for embossing (lovely with a pretty coloured pigment pad and a holographic embossing powder

Usually acid free and non-toxic


Embossing Pads

Glycerine based ink

Transparent or Tinted (I prefer tinted)

Dry slowly

Specifically designed for use with embossing powders

Is available in pen form

Usually acid free

(eg Ranger Adirondack Pigment, Clearsnap Colorbox Pigment, Tsukineko VersaMark, Versacolour, Brilliance)


Archival Permanent Ink Pads

Solvent based (StazOn), oil based (Versafine), or dye based (Momento)

Solvent based ink pads stamp on any surface including glass, leather, card, metal

Quick drying ink, but this can depend on surface

Permanent – so good for colouring your stamped image, especially when using a waterbrush

Acid free and fade resistant


Fabric Pads

Permanent Ink

Suitable for paper. Card and fabric – needs to be ironed


Versamark Pad

A very sticky pad which can be used for lots of techniques

Stamp and emboss

Create a resist image by stamping onto glossy card and brayer over the top dye ink

Stamping and allowing to dry with give a watermark effect – especially on darker card

Use as a glue to apply chalks and pigment powders.


Oil-based Ink Pads

Oil-based inks are ideal for stamping very detailed imaged, they dry reasonably quickly.  They repel water so suitable for using with watercolouring techniques.



Felt Pens

Colour directly onto your stamp with non-permanent pens

Breath on the stamp to refresh colours before stamping (eg Marvy Le Plume or Superpoints)



Handy Hints


Size of Pad

Ink pads are raised and so a small ink pad can ink up a large stamp – by tapping pad over stamp


Storage of Ink Pads

Store ink pads upside down with the exception of metallic, pearl and multicoloured pigment pads.  This will ensure that the ink stays at the top of your pad and will be ready for use.  All ink pads should be stored flat.


Prepared by Stamposaurus